Responding to a number of drowning deaths involving residents of the lower Hudson Valley last summer, White Plains on Monday (2/25) rolled out its “Jump In and Swim” initiative, a month-long collaboration of city and private agencies designed to help children and adults learn basic swimming skills and water safety.
“This is an idea borne out of some tragedies that occurred in the county,” Mayor Thomas Roach said during a press conference at the White Plains High School pool.
Noting that swimming “is a basic life skill,” Roach said the city hopes to make the initiative an annual event “to give all residents – young and old – the chance to learn or improvetheir skills. Knowing how to swim, after all, can save your life.”
Last year, eleven area residents died in drowning accidents, including 15-year-old White Plains resident Jared Amory, who died a week after he was found in a Peekskill pool and Tyler Madoff, also 15, who was hiking in Hawaii when he was swept out to sea.
Throughout the month of March, free swim classes and water-based activities for residents of all ages will be offered at various pools in the city. The initiative involves the city Recreation & Parks Department and the Youth Bureau, the White Plains School District, the White Plains YMCA, the YWCA of White Plains and White Plains Hospital.
– A Sibling Swim hosted by the White Plains School District
– Learn to swim activities for participants in the White Plains Youth Bureau After-school Program
– A Friday Night Family Fun / Open Swim hosted by the White Plains Recreation and Parks Department
– Lifeguard Training Class
– Parent/Toddler Swim hosted by the YWCA of White Plains
– Splash Week – Learn to Swim activities at the White Plains YMCA
– A program-ending Swim Jamboree at the White Plains YMCA
In addition, White Plains Hospital has arranged for every participant to receive a bathing cap free of charge.
Check the city website at www.CityofWhitePlains.com for a complete schedule of activities.